In the Address the President presented Kazakhstan’s new development strategy for the forthcoming decade.
- The stable development of the economy allows reinforcing the social orientation of the reforms. This is the most important outcome of our economic policy, - the President underscored and commissioned the Government with the task to take a number of concrete measures on improving social care in the area of motherhood and childhood, increasing amounts and indexation of pensions, on further improvement in the wage payment system of budget workers. Particularly, the Head of State instructed:
- from 1 January, 2008 the amount of the state one-time grant for a child’s birth must be increased up to 34740 tenges, in other words it will be doubled; child support during maternity leave must be also increased and prolonged to child’s attainment of the age of one year;
- to introduce compulsory insurance of pregnancy, delivery and motherhood for working women and continue to accumulate their pension incomes during the period of their maternity leave;
- to increase the amount of the basic pension and keep it at 40% of living costs in the nearest years;
- to change the income restriction, which is considered for pension calculations, and increase it from 15 up to 25 monthly calculating indicators;
- to preserve indexation of pension payments and fulfill it ahead the forecasted growth of the consumer prices index by 2%;
- to continue the work on further improvement of the wage payments system of budget workers;
-to introduce from 1 January 2008 invigoration allowance of monthly salary sum during annual leave for workers of education, social care, public health care, culture and sport;
- to introduce special allowances of 8 monthly calculating indicators for all Kazakhstanies, which had completed their seniority by the 1st of January, 1998 in harmful and hard conditions of work (list 2).
The total sum, which must be allocated to increase all these social payments, will be at about 108 billions of tenges in 2008.
Also the President ordered to build 100 schools and 100 hospitals in those regions of the country, which especially need these objects, in three years.
- We must consider the development of social infrastructure as a strategic objective, - Nursultan Nazarbaev emphasized.
The President noted that the consistent implementation of the “Kazakhstan 2030” Strategy has ensured the reliable basis to our country’s further progress and its accelerated multifaceted modernization.
- Systematic means will be the main formulae of our accelerated movement forward in the modern world in the nearest ten years. In order to make Kazakhstan an inseparable and dynamic part of the world markets of goods, services, work forces, capitals, modern ideas and technologies, we have to solve ten main problems, - Nursultan Nazarbaev said.
The first problem is not only to ensure and support the economy’s sustainable development, but also drive its growth. As the Head of State noted, the Government must develop a principally new approach to Kazakhstan’s industrialization, retract areas of natural monopolies, strengthen financial system, create an effectively working stock market, assure Kazakhstan’s accession to the WTO under profitable for the country conditions, introduce international technical standards.
- This is my major order to the Government, - Nursultan Nazarbaev emphasized.
The second task is to turn Kazakhstan into ‘the regional locomotive” of economic development and make it a successful player of the world economy. The third task is to increase the effectiveness of the extracting sector. The fourth is to ensure the development of non-extracting industries, to diversify the economy. The fifth is to develop a modern infrastructure according to our new role in the regional and global economies. The sixth is modern education and vocational training, formation of foundations of “smart economy”, use of new technologies, ideas and means, development of an innovative economy. The seventh is addressed social care and development of the social sphere on market principles. The eighth is modernization of the political system and implementation of further systematic democratic reforms. The ninth is the accelerated implementation of the administrative reform taking into account international practice. The tenth task is to promote achievements and possibilities of renewed Kazakhstan in the Central Asian region and internationally.
- In order to represent a new Kazakhstan in the new world after ten years, we have to timely and adequately meet the challenges of the new time. Therefore, I order the Government to solve consequently all the tasks mentioned, which develop the main theses of the Startegy-2030 at the new stage.
History knows many shining examples of how nations developed up to a new level, when they united their will in order to implement projects of a historic scale, - Nursultan Nazarbaev noted.
The Address of the Head of State to the people of Kazakhstan was widely discussed by deputies and members of the Government.
Sergey Diachenko, the Vice Chairman of Majilis of the Parliement of the Republic of Kazakhstan:
- The Address makes us optimistic, makes us confident, and I am convinced that Kazakhstani people will find answers to all questions of their great interest in this document. We have heard what we wanted to hear. The enormous social block attracts attention to itself; the tasks outlined in it will be solved in the nearest future. If we effectively implement all the tasks set by the Head of State, then we will achieve an unexampled success. The Address demonstrates the aspect that the state policy is conducted in the interests of every Kazakhstani.
Kairat Kelimbetov, the Board Chairman of the “Fund of Sustainable Development Kazyna” open JSC.
- Address of the Head of State to the people of Kazakhstan delivered today is one of the most influential ones over the last years. The document can be divided into three parts. The first part relates to social reform. Thus, the President announced an increase in social expenditures from the budget, which will exceed 100 billions of tenges. Another important objective is the building of social infrastructure objects in the period of three years throughout Kazakhstan. Construction of more than hundred schools and hospitals is a very challenging task, and its solution will require massive budget expenditures. In details, there has not been such a breakthrough in building social infrastructure in the country’s history.
Second key direction is the administrative reform. The Head of State noted that the establishment of the national holdings Samruk, Kazyna, KazAgro is a completely new phenomenon in managing the national economy. Our fund has been commissioned with two tasks, which are improvement of corporate management in the development institutes and financial organizations supervised by the JSC and intensification of investment activities. As the President has underscored in the Address, it is time for us to transfer from pilot projects in different sectors to a large-scale financing of the economy’s diversification.
Erlan Nigmatullin, a Majilis deputy of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan:
- I would call this Address of the Head of State a crucial breakthrough step toward the people, toward every Kazakhstani. It is clear that this program document is a result of a deep analysis of the situation in the country. The document reflects all hopes and wishes of the people. Today we have been convinced one more time that the President confirms the social course of our country. More than 108 billion tenges will be allocated for increasing social payments; this is a unique sum. The concentration on solving social problems is annually rising. In the speech by the Head of State a great attention was paid to political reforms, particularly, to the reinforcement of the Parliament’s role. This factor is evidence that in terms of policy the Parliament will play an important role in implementing tasks aimed at the prosperity of our each voter. I am sure that the Address will be highly appreciated by the society.
Svetlana Dzhalmagambetova, a Senate deputy of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan:
- I, as a deputy, who constantly works on social matters, was pleased with the tasks set by the Head of State exactly in social area, especially those issues, which we constantly work on. Particularly, these are increased child-care allowances, maternity leave and delivery pays, which will be paid at expense of insurance funds, not at employers’ expense. I think such a support will assist to solving demography problems.
And, of course, this is a pleasant fact that the maximal amount of solidary pension will be increased up to 22 thousand tenges. This is a significant support and a breakthrough in the social policy.
Serik Abdrakhmanov, a Majilis deputy of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan:
- My hopes for the President’s address have come true. The main thing in the document is outlined by the Head of State need for political reforms, the strengthening role of the Parliament and accountability of the Counting Committee to deputies. Today it is not clear who is the person the Counting Committee is accountable to, and democratic procedures of electing its members through the Parliament will make its work more effective. This is especially important now, when enormous funds will be allocated from the budget for different programs.
Alikhan Baymenov, a Majilis deputy of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan:
- This is a strong Address. The President has announced what was developed in the framework of the State Commission for development and concretization of democratic reforms. This was very important to me, as a member of the Commission. Also I consider as very important the intention of the state power to increase pensions and allowances, including allowances of health care for teachers and doctors. This is a pleasure.
Gulzhana Karagusova, the Minister of Labor and Social Protection of population:
- The social block of today’s Address of the Head of State will allow completing the process of creation of social care system in the country, which will meet the requirements of market. In the previous Address to the people the President gave to us an order to make addressed help really addressed, and in 2008, as it has been said today, amendments will be made to the corresponding law. On the whole the principle remains the same: the state will offer help to those, who really need it.
Kuanysh Sultanov, a Senate deputy of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan:
- The Address is aimed at increasing the living standards of our society. The President underscores that the people have all conditions for a dignified life, and calls us to understand that the society must reject the dependant state of public opinion; that the state must support only really socially vulnerable strata of the population. All of us must think and ask themselves, what contribution we have made to the development of the state taking into account the great possibilities given to us. The Head of State calls us to use them. Also the President said completely true things that some higher education organizations in our country teach students without any control, and graduates of these universities do not have a minimal required level of qualification. If we effectively implement all the tasks set by the Head of State, Kazakhstan will be able to become a country having the highest living standards in the nearest future. The main thing today is to concentrate efforts on the implementation of the tasks set by the Head of State.
Aitkul Samakova, Advisor to President and Chairwoman of the National Commission for family affairs and gender policy:
- Each year we wait for the Address of the Head of State, first of all in the context of strengthening support in social area in the republic. Today’s document has exceeded all expectations. The social block in the Address is very impressive; it astonishes and makes us enthusiastic at the same time. The President confidently manages the work of all branches of the economy, ministries and agencies in the way needed. This allows having financial resources, which make possible to increase social expenditures from the budget. The 108 billion tenges allocated for social needs is an amazing sum!
The administrative reform, as the Head of State noted, must be conducted gradually, with scrupulous work of every state entity. Besides, such transformations must be comprehended by wide strata of the population. As concerns the political modernization, there will be a correction of the acting legislative base and some spot amendments to the main Law of the country. It is time today to broaden the authorities of the Parliament and local representative agencies, to improve the judicial system.
Nurlan Iskakov, the Environment Protection Minister:
- The new Address of the President to the people of Kazakhstan is a strategic document looking at the future. For the first time the Head of State set tasks for a decade with taking into account principles of the republic’s sustainable development. I consider the last fact to be very important. Today we confidently talk about support to sustainable economic growth allowing implementation of large-scale social and ecological projects.
For the first time the document announces Kazakhstan as a regional leader, important link of the integration system between Europe and Asia. Also for the first time the solution of ecological problems is determined by trans-regional, Central Asian and Eurasian initiatives.
The Address pays a great attention to the development of human capital and increase of the living standards of the population, what completely corresponds to the spirit of the Conception for Kazakhstan’s sustainable development adopted last year. As the Head of State emphasized, all tasks must be solved systematically and with consideration of economic, ecological and social factors, e.g. on the principles of sustainable development.
Natalia Korzhova, the Finance Minister:
- As the Address of the Head of State instructs in order to allocate funds for strengthening the social orientation of expenditures from the republican budget, our ministry and also entire economic block of the Government will continue to work on those contracts, which were made with large extractive foreign companies. It is prohibited to make obstacles with endless checks to small and medium sized business. It is not desirable to purposelessly increase the power of officials, who sometimes robe those having own business and caring about dependents.
In order to implement the theses of the Address it is necessary to be concentrated on forming a compact and functional Government during the course of administrative reform, to eliminate omissions in contracts, to work with large audit companies, which understand that extracting foreign companies working in the republic must keep a balance between their own interests and the interests of all Kazakhstani people.
Thus, the primary task of the financial ministry is to rebuild its structure and allocate as many state employees as possible to fight against corruption and those enterprises, administrators of budget programs that spend budget money ineffectively. At the same time the work of tax and fiscal agencies will be targeted at support to the “development points” in the economy, at strengthening partnership with entrepreneurs.
Valeriy Kotovich, a Majilis deputy of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan:
- The novelty of the Address of the President to the people of Kazakhstan is in the fact that it contains a big block of social issues, which are important to our state, and outlines the ways in which the objectives can be achieved. Personally I, as a member of the Committee for social cultural development of the lower Chamber of the Parliament, was pleased with the social part of the document, which involves an increase in the maximal amount of pension.
As concerns the modernization of our political system, on the outcomes of the work of the State Commission for development and concretization of democratic reforms the President gave a number of orders on preparing amendments and additions to the Constitution to relevant state agencies.